Kansas gov won’t use executive powers to legalize medical cannabis

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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said this week that she will not use her office’s executive powers to legalize medical marijuana or to decriminalize cannabis possession.

A vocal advocate of marijuana reform who nonetheless says she opposes adult-use legalization, Kelly has said she would sign a medical cannabis legalization bill if state lawmakers pass one.

Despite that executive pressure, a state Senate committee in March blocked a medical cannabis legalization bill for the year.

According to The Topeka Capital-Journal reported, Kelly will not follow the lead of other Democratic governors in conservative states, such as Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, and use executive powers to relax cannabis laws.

“I don’t think I can do that,” she said, according to the newspaper. “I just don’t think that is within my purview.”

Kelly said she would continue “pushing through the legislative process,” which has wrapped for 2023.

Kansas House lawmakers passed a medical marijuana bill in 2021, only for that effort to die in the state Senate.